Hiking for Dummies part 1

Hi, I’m Julie and sometimes I’m kind of a dummy. I decided that this fall I wanted to go hiking on just a very simple trail. Why? Why not! Once I made the decision to go hiking, that was it. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Which brings me to my first problem- packing. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of packer. When I thought about what to pack with me, it kind of went like this:

  1. Picnic lunch! Awesome! That’s it. It’ll be amazing.
  2. Wait, what will I carry the lunch in? I don’t want to bring a picnic basket, I need my hands free if I fall.
  3. OMG, FALLING!? I NEED A FIRST AID KIT TOO!!!!! I’ll bring bandages and ointment and be so prepared.
  4. I should bring the dog too! She would love that.
  5. Wait, you can’t bring the dog. There might be snakes. Snakes would bite her and she would die.
  6. If I bring antivenom then she won’t die and she can join us. The dog is back on! First aid kit upgrade!
  7. What if the snake bites us? What if there’s a sinkhole out there? I need new shoes for this. I also don’t want some pretty pants falling into the sinkhole so time to buy more pants.
  8. This is looking like a lot of shopping. Maybe I will just stay home and read instead.
I really do think in caplock and exclamation points by the way. It’s a fault of mine that I won’t apologize for though I do apologize for that glimpse inside my head.


Once I got over being a dummy, I decided to be rational about what to bring. Here is a realistic packing guide for your first basic on the trail kind of hike:
  • Backpack: A nice place to store your gear. I bought a hiking pack for $15 at Walmart.
  • Water: About 3 liters per person, maybe a little less. We’re taking it very easy to enjoy the park we’ll be inside of.
  • Lunch: We’ll eat in the park so I’ll make sandwiches ahead of time. Think about foods that provide you with energy and bring those too. I picked up some apples and bananas to take along with us. We have a picnic area we’ll eat at that has trashcans and benches but otherwise a blanket and trash bag would be good too.
  • Smart clothing: I’m not really an outdoorsy person so I’ll be using some old shoes of mine rather than real hiking boots. We’ll be on a trail at all times so I won’t encounter many obstacles. It’s also expected to be warm so I’ll wear light colored breathable clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen: No sunburns here!
  • Mini first aid kit: Just a few bandages, wet wipes, and headache medicine. I have been known to injure myself while going to the ballet so I’m not risking anything.
  • Map: It’s always good to know where you’re going. We’ll have our phones with us and they have compasses and we’ll also be on marked trails so we shouldn’t end up too lost. If directions aren’t your thing, a GPS system might help you.
  • Camera: I’m not going to be around all the fall leaves without some photos!
We’ll be leaving our dog at home while we learn about the park, discover the trails, and get an idea of how many other people and dogs use the park. I’ll let you know next week how my hike went, what I failed to pack (it’s bound to happen) and any other helpful tips I come up with. Hopefully I won’t be too much of a dummy out on the trail.
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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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